By Tim Binnall
The creepy clown phenomenon has once again reared its proverbial greasepainted head as residents of one Minnesota community have reported sightings of a haunting harlequin. The presence of the unsettling individual came to light last Friday evening when the chief of police in the city of Annandale took to social media to alert the public. "Concerns about a 'clown' in the area have been brought to my attention," Pete Standafer wrote, assuring residents that the department is "aware of this individual and we continue to monitor the situation."
As if a message regarding a clown lurking in the community wasn't weird enough, the chief's statement took something of a strange turn as he explained that "in order to take any action about individuals who are potentially concerning, we need to justify a legal basis of the terms 'alarm or annoyance' regarding the conduct someone is engaged in." He went on to write that "if an actual complaint to the police is not made, it affects our ability appropriately to deal with the situation." This would seem to suggest that no one has actually filed an official report about the clown as of yet, leaving authorities essentially powerless to do anything about the harlequin.
Response to the announcement has been largely mixed with some residents finding the whole affair rather amusing, while others were understandably unsettled by the news. As for the identity of the clown, a description of the individual from witnesses is in keeping with similar cases throughout the country in that the harlequin appears to simply be a teenager with too much time on their hands. To that end, one resident reported seeing a young man wearing a clown mask and riding around the city on a scooter. "I didn't see him do anything illegal," the observer said, "he was just being bored or put to a challenge."